The end of life: Making sure your wishes are followed

Many people know what healthcare choices they want made at the end of their life, but they fail to communicate or plan for these choices. As a result,   each day in the United States, thousands of critically important end-of-life decisions are made without the benefit of advanced planning.

Wilton Presbyterian Church will present a panel discussion on advance directives Sunday, Feb. 22, at 11:15 a.m. The Rev. Shannon White and Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will participate.

Participants will learn about Connecticut’s advance directives law, how to communicate their wishes to friends, family and medical providers, how to appoint a health care representative, and how to go about completing their own advance directive.

“An advance directive is a written legal document listing who you wish to make medical decisions for you if you are ever unable to speak for yourself,” said Melody Matheny-Orpen, community health nurse for the nursing agency.

“It can also list what treatments you would, or would not, want at that time. Individuals feel empowered when they learn that they have choices about the type of care they will receive, and that their wishes will be honored even if they can no longer voice those wishes.”

The program is free and open to all in the community. Wilton Presbyterian Church is at 48 New Canaan Road.